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University of Nevada assists Belizean teachers

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the University of Nevada which is located in the USA is holding a conference focusing on Special Education under the theme “Building Bridges”.  Dr. Candy Armstrong, Director of Education Support Services at the Ministry of Education spoke about the conference.

Dr. Candy Armstrong, Director of Education Support Service: “During the presentation it’s an opportunity to look at current research and to share best practices.”

Reporter: How did the need for this arise?

Dr. Candy Armstrong, Director of Education Support Service: “It’s just ongoing initiatives that the Ministry have in terms of capacity building in the area of Special Education. This is education month and as part of the activities that we have for this month we look at capacity building and gaps in areas in which we could benefit from partnership in order to improve and so we just started fitting considering some of the strides and gains that we have in our education now to look further at building capacity of teachers as the practitioner in the classroom so that again they get exposed to those current researcher practices so it influences their practice.”

Reporter 2: So who is attending this workshop, is it teachers or is it a combination?

Dr. Candy Armstrong, Director of Education Support Service: “It’s a combination of stake holders.”

Dr. Monica Brown, Professor of Special Education from the University of Nevada said that while in Belize they will also be conducting school visits to find out the needs.

Dr. Monica Brown – Professor of Special Education, University of Nevada: “First of all we haven’t been to any of the schools yet, we do that tomorrow so we are looking forward to that, looking forward to hearing from more of the teachers in terms of what it is that they need on the ground in terms of Pete Gog, in terms of curricula so when we hear more about that then we can say okay this is the same struggle that we have in the United States, this is maybe similar, this is maybe more of a struggle, it appears just from conversations that and I think it’s probably a money thing in Belize that their support and things are not there; not because the teachers don’t care and don’t want them but maybe there is just not the funding at this time to get all of those resources.”

Armstrong said that there has been an increase in children with special needs.